Biology Stories

Explore the world of biology and meet some of our biologists. Here you can learn about the living world and find out what is so cool about biology that someone would do it for a living. Pick a story to read or listen to one of our podcast shows filled with guest scientists who share their experiences and passion for discovery.

Professor Susanne Neuerfrom the ASU School of Life Sciences talks about her research and how a person in the southwest desert can be studying deserts in the oceans. Yes, we said deserts in the ocean. Listen in to find out why.

Whether you overeat or try to cut back, your body may be playing a strategic game based on the amount of energy you take in.

Not everyone has been on a hike and very few have hiked with a park ranger. Dr. Biology hikes South Mountain Park with not one but two park rangers. Park Rangers Liz Smith and Justin Olson are our guides for the 2.5 mile trip up Holbert Trail. This episode provides hiking tips and a preview of what treasures await those who hike this park.

Let’s take a ride. It is going to be a fast one, so be prepared. Where are we going? We are going to start at your head and end up at your toes. It may not seem like a long trip, but it is going to be fast. It may be the shortest and fastest trip of your life. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
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Dr. Biology takes a bite into the world of food science with scientist Christy Spackman from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The two venture into the realms of taste, smell, and texture. There is talk of burgers, some of them impossible. The two also talk about how we have been working towards what Christy calls “making nothing”, which by itself is really something.

An interview with biologist James Collins who is the person directing the biology section of the National Science Foundation. Listen in and learn about this important science funding agency.

Dr. Biology travels to the Tres Rios wetlands, a place where all types of living things can be found. He talks with local biologists about many of the species and also gets a chance to sit down and talk with Quentin Wheeler who is starting a new Institute that will be exploring and looking for species all around the world.

Are we robbing ourselves of our own natural treasures? A team of scientists is investigating how human-caused climate change is affecting U.S. National Parks.

When we think about using the natural power of the earth, like sun or wind, we don't usually think about how this might hurt animals. But researchers are finding that we can use sustainable energy while still taking care of our flying friends.

Imagine a day at work where your clients range from tiny reptiles to massive elephants, each with their own unique health needs. That's a regular day for our guest in today's episode, Dr. Gary West, the Senior Vice President of Animal Health and Living Collections at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. He talks with Dr. Biology about their team of dedicated professionals that not only ensures the well-being of over 3,000 animals at the Phoenix Zoo but also plays a key role in global conservation efforts. The tales of their daily challenges and the innovative solutions they implement provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of zoo veterinary medicine.

Trap-jaw ants come with spring-loaded jaws that can snap shut faster than any other animal's. But they may also use their jaws to catapult themselves through the air.

You may have heard of autism before, but do you know what it really is? Learn about what it’s like to live with autism.

Mosquitoes are more than just a bother - in many cases, they can be dangerous. Arm yourself against mosquitoes with knowledge of their life cycle, the diseases they carry, and how you can fight them.

Whoever came up with the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” probably never met the Chinese Grouse (Tetrastes sewerzowi). For the Chinese Grouse, judging a mate by its cover is actually the way to go.

Families are important to many animals, but are they also important to organisms made of just one cell? For amoebas, the ability to recognize relatives can make a world of difference.

Two AI bots meet in a coffee shop. This might sound like the start of a joke, but is it a joke? Today artificial intelligence (AI) is a popular topic. With new tools popping up daily it appears we are at the beginning of a brave new world. Some say the world will be amazing and others have dark predictions of human doom. Dr. Biology sits down with cognitive psychologist Mina Johnson-Glenberg to talk about A.I. and if we can really call it intelligent. But first, we need to listen in on that coffee shop conversation.

When you visit a pond or the beach, what kinds of living things do you see in the water? Depending on the environment, you might find fish, frogs, crabs, insects, seaweed, or lily pads. Don’t let your eyes fool you, though… there’s a hidden world in water full of creatures too small to be seen!
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Reading a scientific article can seem like a difficult task. To help get you started, we first discuss what all goes into a scientific article. Then, when you're ready, click on Article Dissection to see how a scientific article can be broken down into parts that are a bit easier to understand. 

Flowering plants, called angiosperms, are absolutely everywhere (even in Antarctica!). They are some of the most successful living things around. But what made them so successful?

As scientists study the amazing social network of ants they are discovering we could learn a lot from these tiny animals. Dr. Biology and co-host Jane Rector visit with Jennifer Fewell, a biologist who is exploring the world of social insects including ants. They learn a lot about this female dominated world and just what leafcutter ants are doing with all those leaves.